The former President of Peru, currently under house arrest in Chile, has lost his bid to be elected in Japan.

Alberto Fujimori, who holds Japanese nationality thanks to his ancestry, is wanted in Peru for alleged human rights abuses and is currently fighting extradition proceedings in Chile.

The 69-year-old, who cannot leave his house in Santiago, is believed to be the first former head of state to ever seek national office in another country.

Casting himself as the 'Last Samurai' in his Japanese election campaign, Mr Fujimori ran as a candidate of a small political party in what was seen as an attempt to thwart extradition efforts by Peru to bring him to trial.

As Peruvian president, he was widely credited with taming economic chaos and subduing Peru's Maoist insurgency. However, in the process he was accused of crushing civil liberties, rigging elections and committing human rights abuses.

He fled to Japan in 2000 amid a corruption probe and faxed his presidential resignation from a Tokyo hotel.

After five years of exile in Japan, Mr Fujimori unexpectedly arrived in Chile in November 2005, hoping to run in Peru's 2006 presidential election. He was arrested in Santiago and has since been engaged in prolonged dealings with the Chilean justice system.

In a statement today he accepted defeat in Japan, indicating that he hoped to return to politics in Peru once his extradition issue was settled.

Abe reacts to election losses

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to reshuffle his scandal-plagued cabinet following a landmark defeat in the polls.

The Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled Japan almost continuously since 1955, failed for the first time to be the largest party in a chamber of parliament, with the left-centre opposition taking control of the upper house.

But Mr Abe has ruled out resignation or calling a new general election, setting the stage for political gridlock in the world's second-largest economy.

After the election results were confirmed, Mr Abe said he believed voters still supported his core ideas, including his push to rewrite Japan's post-World War II pacifist constitution.

He expressed his belief that his party instead lost support over the scandals involving some of his cabinet ministers.

In 10 months in office, two of Mr Abe's ministers have resigned and another died by suicide, only to be replaced by a successor who was also embroiled in dirty money allegations.